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Techie’s twist to Kalamkari

Kalamkari artist P. Varun Kumar and School of Planning and Architecture(Vijayawada) Director N. Sridharan with the first product in the Buddhistseries on Kalamkari at Pedana on Sunday. Photo: T.Appala Naidu  

Buddhist motifs get an update in the works of P. Varun Kumar. A techie by profession, Kumar has come up with a Buddha series on hand-block Kalamkari textile. The works are not just an ode to the beautiful motifs that we associate with Buddhist art and architecture; it’s also Kumar’s way of bringing tourists to Buddhist destinations and the rural textile hubs of Andhra Pradesh where traditional craft forms flourished.

Convinced by the youngster’s dream, the Design and Innovation Centre of the School of Planning and Architecture, Vijayawada, is encouraging him in every possible way.

A boon

“The State government’s mission to promote Buddhist tourism came as a boon to me to realise this project. I’ve always been fascinated with Buddhist motifs. They are simple, yet intricate. Initially, I plan to focus on the popular motifs such as lotus, elephant and the half medallion on a range of Kalamkari products,” Kumar told The Hindu.

Incidentally, Kumar, an Electronics & Communications engineer, is the grandson of P.V. Subbaiah, a forerunner in the Kalamkari tradition in Pedana. Having grown up in an artistic environment, the techie sees his new stint as a natural progression.

Smiling encouragingly, Director of the School of Planning and Architecture, Vijayawada, Professor N. Sridharan, said, “I have shared my research on the Amravati School of Art and other resources relating to Buddhist architecture and design with Kumar. Motifs inspired by the Buddhist repertoire will soon be designed on wooden blocks to be used on a range of products.”


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Printable version | Sep 15, 2021 11:36:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/p-varun-kumar-comes-up-with-a-buddha-series-in-kalamkari/article7444368.ece

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